Interesting Times Ahead with U.S. Data

Markets face a barrage of potential catalysts as the month of June begins, a traditional period of stock market weakness.  From Greece’s debt talks to a European Central Bank meeting and Friday’s U.S. jobs report, there are plenty of events in the coming week that could shore up the dollar’s gains, change interest rate expectations and rock equities. OPEC also meets at the end of the week, and Greece has a debt payment due to the IMF on Friday.

There is an important series of U.S. May economic data, including ISM manufacturing Monday and auto sales Tuesday, which in addition to Friday’s May jobs report, could help clarify the strength of the economy and change market perceptions about when the Fed might start to raise interest rates.

“I think, if anything, the data over the next week or two will bring some of those Fed expectations in a little bit more,” said Andrew Burkly, head of institutional portfolio strategy at Oppenheimer Asset Management. Fed funds futures point to the highest odds of a first rate hike in December, though investors had been previously more convinced of a September hike, before a stream of weak March and April data.